EX-PRESIDENT Ricardo Martinelli, his lawyers and supporters continue to claim that criminal investigations into his activities and members of his administration while in office are the result of “political persecution” by the current administration.
But while the wrappings have been pulled from most of the alleged cases of corruption involving Martinelli and others with access to the public treasure chest since he left office, the infamous Financial Pacific (FP) cauldron was already coming to a slow boil before he left office.
One of the key players is already serving a five-year sentence for his role, in the scandal and he has fingered Martinelli and the CD dirty tricks wizard and former tourism boss Salomon Shammah.
Meanwhile, the SEC in New York and the TSE in Toronto are investigating alleged stock market manipulation via a Martinelli account in Financial Pacific.
Another name that could bubble to the surface of the murky corruption stew is Supreme Court President Jose Ayu Prado, who after being appointed Attorney General is alleged to have personally drafted the retraction of whistleblower Mayte Pelligrini.
So while Martinelli sits in a Miami detention cell, unable to Tweet his persecution mantra The Second Superior Criminal Court has sent the Supreme Court a copy of the confession of the former Superintendent of the Stock Market Superintendency, (SMV) Ignacio Fábrega, asking the court to investigate Martinelli.
In a judgment dated May 15, the court upheld the 5 years sentence imposed on Fábrega For giving confidential information of the SMV to Financial Pacific in 2014, while still in office. Fábrega Resigned on June 30 of that year.
On August 25, 2015, after four and a half months as a fugitive, Fábrega appeared In the First Criminal Court and pleaded guilty to giving confidential information to FP. At the hearing, he stated that he acted on instructions from Ricardo Martinelli and Salomon Shamah,
He also stated that he personally delivered to Martinelli a note from the SMV, which said that Martinelli was not related to FP’s High Spirit account, supposedly used to manipulate the stock market with Petaquilla Minerals shares.
Martinelli’s relationship with the High Spirit account was denounced for the first time by Former FP employee Mayte Pellegrini.
In a statement to the Thirteenth Circuit Prosecutor on November 22, 2012, Pellegrini declared that the ex-directors of FP Iván Clare and West Valdés publicly said that the account High Spirit belonged to Martinelli and was open to manipulate the stock market with the Shares of Petaquilla Minerals
(Valdés is currently in detention for investigation related to the Caja de Ahorros scandal.)
Following the Pelligrini revelations, the SMV filed a complaint about possible corruption after gaining insider information to get economic benefits.
The complaint mentions the participation of Martinelli. The action was admitted by the Supreme Court of Justice on September 25, 2015 reports La Prensa which lists another seven cases being processed by the Court:
Wiretapping; Contracts for the purchase of dehydrated food in 2010, and for the purchase of grains through the former National Assistance Program; The granting of 353 pardons to convicts for common crimes, and for the alleged extortion of the Italian company Impregilo for the construction of the Veraguas Pediatric Hospital; The Cobranzas del Istmo case and the Caja de Ajhorros.
Crimes or persecution?